Nokonoshima Island Park
Fukuoka's floating urban oasis.
Created in the 1960s by 19 year-old Kubota Kosaku, Nokonoshima Island is a self-contained Eden just across from the lively hub of Fukuoka. Well-known among locals for its beautiful kaleidoscope of flowers through the seasons, Nokonoshima also offers plenty of rustic, outdoor activities from barbecues to pottery making to camping. We salute you, Kosaku-san.
The island is located about 10 minutes ferry ride from Meinohama port, about 20 minutes east of Hakata port. You can circle it easily on foot – it’s only 12 kilometers all the way round – and there are great views of the city looking back over the water.
There’s a playground near the bed of seasonal flowers where children can play as you nose around the food stalls. Conveniently situated near the playground is a barbeque area – perfect for getting your grill on in summer.
Take in the beauty of the scenery as it changes through the seasons, from seas of pink and white cosmos flowers in October to rows of golden sunflowers blooming after the end of the rainy season in July.
Looking for a bouquet of flowers to spruce up your home? From mid-May to late August, those who pay the regular admission fee can enter the park and take home a bunch of flowers. If you like marigolds, visit during the months of May, June, and July. Sunflowers are ready to be picked in the latter summer months of July and August.
The Nokonoshima Camp Grounds are open from May to September. The village, in the north of the island, offers ten cottages for camping, barbecue pits, and even free banana boat rentals. Be sure to book early as spots can fill up quickly, especially on the weekends and in the warm summer months. The grounds are open for reservations from April 1st.
Those interested in pottery and ceramics can also participate in the island’s rakuyaki workshop, where visitors can paint on either ash trays or plates that have been hand thrown by experts. The works, traditionally used for tea ceremonies, are removed from the kiln prematurely and left to cool in the open air.
Before you leave the island, check out the tourist centre near the port, as it offers a wide range of local eats such as the Noko Burger and fresh produce from the island itself. Restaurants also serve other local specialties, such as Noko udon, which are thin, firm noodles that can be served hot or cold, as well as Noko cider.